Kalu Orji Uzor

Orji Kalu. Photo: City Post

Kalu, Orji Uzor; Businessman, politician and the executive governor of Abia State from  May 29, 1999 on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party. PDP, He was born April 21, 1957 in Eziama Aba, Abia State. He is an alumnus of Barewa College, Zaira, Kaduna State; University of Maiduguri, Borno State and Institute of International Education, Washington DC, and Catholic University, both in United States. He is the founder, Slok Group, Ojia Lex Furniture Company, Supreme Oil and Sun newspapers. He is also the pillar of Sports in Nigeria by the Sport Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN. An early riser in business and decorated industrialist, Kalu was honoured with traditional titles of Omonu Nwata of Igboland, and the Kolo of Bornu[i]. He married Menakaya Ifeoma in  1989 and has two daughters.


Kalu went to Christ The King’s School, Aba, Abia State, 1971-74, Eziama High School, Aba, 1974-75, Government College, Umuahia, 1975-78, Barewa College, Zaria, Kaduna State, 1978-79, University of Maiduguri, 1979-83, Institute of International Education, Washington, USA, 1989, Catholic University, USA, 1993-95, Harvard University School of Business Administration, Boston, USA, 1997[ii].


Kalu was elected into the National Assembly, 1992-93; and he joined in 1998 the United Nigeria Congress Party of the General Abacha shoddy politics which became defunct. Later in same year he joined the Peoples Democratic Party the vehicle through which he won election to become governor of Abia State. At the expiration of his tenure he worked for his Chief of Staff, Theodore Orji, his party’s governorship candidate who was later detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC[iii]. Kalu himself had trouble with the EFCC for a 6.7 billion naira fraud case against him while he was governor. The Supreme Court sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment while it ordered the winding up of his company and the forfeiture of its assets to the Federal Government. The sentence was quashed due to technical reasons in 2020 and he resumed office as a Senator of the federal republic[iv].


Kalu believed that the “agitation for the realization of the defunct Biafra Republic was illogical and capable of derailing the demand for lgbo presidency in 2007 and the purported declaration was not only illegal hut uncalled for as it lacks constitutional backing.” Ironically, Aba was a Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB stronghold and a foremost administrative centre, of the organization. So strong is the movement in Aba that it successfully engaged the dreaded Bakassi Boys in a bloody battle in the city in 2002. Over 10 persons died in the clash which was sparked by a tussle for supremacy[v]. As governor, Kalu, like his Lagos counterparet, Bola Tinubu displayed independence from undue influence from the President Obasanjo. While Tinubu belonged in the opposition Kalu’s case was a little different, because he used to belong to Obasanjo’s party[vi].





[i] Insider, April 24, 2006

[ii] Newswatch Who is Who

[iii] The NEWS 7 May, 2007

[iv] Punch 7 March, 2004

[v] The NEWS, 6 September, 2004

[vi] The NEWS, May 2, 2007

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer